Maven backs MBI at electronic document firm

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MANCHESTER-based Maven Capital Partners, one of the UK’s most active private equity houses, has supported the management buy-in of Prime Document, a specialist provider of outsourced document management services.

Maven’s backing will help the team in Whitefield, near Bury, strategically grow the sales and marketing capability of the business, expanding its footprint into the electronic document management sector, which is forecast to grow strongly over the next few years.

The senior buy-in team has significant experience in the document management outsourcing market, with managing director Martin Hurley and operations director Alan Hall having previously held senior positions with several large companies in this arena.

Phil Dearden will also join the business as finance director, having worked previously in a number of successful businesses including leading fresh-produce supplier Oliver Kay, a former Maven investee company.
Prime specialises in the production and distribution of business critical documents, in areas where many clients require the production of documentation to comply with stringent industry regulations or legislative requirements.

Prime’s service is used for the production and delivery of a range of important documents, such as invoices, pay slips, tax and pension statements, where clients value the accuracy, reliability and responsiveness of the service in the face of the growing challenges of increasingly complex and large data sets.  

Prime has grown year-on-year since it was established in 1999 and now provides an outsourcing service to a wide range of large and mid-market companies, local government bodies and NGOs.

It has also developed ecco, a document management platform that facilitates capture, storage, retrieval and multi-channel distribution of client information, which the business will use to expand its services in the global EDM market, currently growing at around 9% annually according to industry experts.  

The transaction was funded by Maven Investor Partners, a syndicate of institutional and high net worth investors, some of whom have been working in partnership with the Maven team since 2006.
Maven has enjoyed a strong start to 2016 having completed investments across the property, technology, healthcare and media sectors.

Recent investments include supporting the expansion of innovative online GP business The GP Service, leading the £11m MBO of interior fit-out contractor EE Smith, and the £15m purchase and planned conversion of the Grade II listed Shire Hall in Durham into a four-star boutique hotel.

Maven also completed a profitable exit from Dantec Hose, a manufacturer of composite hoses for the petrochemical market, generating a strong return for investors.
Hurley added: “The UK market is on the verge of realising the benefits to be gained from using the various electronic multi-channels to move business critical information around in a less expensive and more efficient manner than traditional print and post.

“With the backing of our investment partners we see Prime Document as being perfectly placed to capitalize on the opportunity to deliver innovative, industry leading services to our existing and future customer base.”

Andy Thomas, investment director at Maven, said: “Prime has an enviable reputation in the market for delivering first class service to its clients, and is well positioned to expand its multi-channel approach to document management. We’re delighted to be backing the team and look forward to seeing the business continue to grow over the coming years.”

Management were advised by Mazars, with North West corporate finance partner Pete Terry adding: “It has been a pleasure working with the management team, Maven and Yorkshire Bank to get this deal done.  

“Martin, Alan and Phil are a strong team, who know the document management sector well and Prime Document, a leading and well established player in the market, will give them the ideal platform to develop their offering in the sector.”

Yorkshire Bank provided senior debt to support the transaction alongside working capital facilities, led by Neil McLoughlin, director in Yorkshire Bank’s Manchester-based specialist and acquisition Finance team.

Owen Malton, Yorkshire Bank’s regional head, said: “I am delighted that Prime chose us as their new banking partner and we look forward to working in partnership with the new management team and Maven to support the business to develop and expand. We warmly welcome another private equity backed customer to our diverse and expanding portfolio of customers.”

Legal advice was provided by Squire Patton Boggs and Gateley. The sellers were advised by Cole Associates and DAC Beachcroft.

Financial due diligence was carried out by RSM, Commercial due diligence by RPL, Management referencing by The Quinn Partnership, Insurance by Vista Insurance Brokers, and IT due diligence by Turous. Yorkshire Bank were advised by Addleshaw Goddard.